What is applied demography? View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

1996-12

AUTHORS

David A. Swanson, Thomas K. Burch, Lucky M. Tedrow

ABSTRACT

Applied demography has recently gained recognition as an emergent specialization among practicing demographers. We argue that applied demography is intrinsically distinct from basic demography because it exhibits the value-orientation and empirical characteristics of a decision-making science while the latter exhibits the value-orientation and empirical hallmarks of a basic science. Distinguishing characteristics of applied demography are based on the context in which it places precision and explanatory power relative to time and resources as well as the fact its substantive problems are largely exogenously-defined, usually by customers. The substantive problems of basic demography, on the other hand, are largely endogenously-defined, usually by academic demographers. Moreover, basic demography is primarily concerned with offering convincing explanations of demographic phenomena and tends to view time and resources as barriers to surmount in order to maximize precision and explanatory power. This context is very different from the one in which applied demography is embedded, which views explanatory power and precision in terms of doing what is necessary to support practical decision-making while minimizing time and resources. We examine this conceptualization of applied demography in terms of the methods and materials that fall within its purview and discuss some important consequences, including research agendas and training programs. We conclude by posing several important but unanswered questions about the actual and potential scope of applied demography and discuss some of the implications inherent in these questions. More... »

PAGES

403-418

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf00125862

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf00125862

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1043922668


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